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(10,384 posts)
Wed Jun 5, 2024, 03:13 PM Jun 5

Hunter Biden Prosecutors Might've Already Lost the Jury [View all]

Shan Wu

The Hunter Biden trial starting in Wilmington, Delaware, is a poster-child case for potential jury nullification.

Biden, the only surviving son of President Joe Biden, is being tried for possessing a firearm while being a user of illegal drugs or drug addict and for lying about the same on a purchase form when he bought a gun. On the surface, the prosecution—a culmination of more than a half-decade of investigation by Special Counsel David Weiss—would appear to have a slam dunk case because there is no real dispute he bought the gun, or that he had a drug addiction around the time he bought the gun.

But beneath the surface, the case is ripe for the phenomenon of jury nullification.

The strict definition of jury nullification is when a jury has determined that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt—but either rejects the evidence or refuses to apply the law because the jury “wants to send a message about some social issue that is larger than the case itself, or because the result dictated by law is contrary to the jury’s sense of justice, morality, or fairness.”

Let’s be clear. Juries are not supposed to do that. They are supposed to convict if the evidence proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and acquit if it doesn’t.

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